Can a T1 drive a forklift?

Hey guys, long time no post.

Today I got a job as a material handler. A big part of this job will be driving a forklift, so i’ll need to get a license for that soon.

Does anyone know if D will cause any problems getting a forklift license?

I think you’ll be fine…

I maneuver ships for a living… They’re like forklifts kinda but much bigger. I think individual employers will “license” you to operate their forklifts as to my knowledge there is no state or federal registry. Honestly I wouldn’t even mention it during whatever certification process you’ll be going through unless you feel you truly need a “reasonable accommodation” in order to do the job.

But with any job operating equipment large and powerful enough to hurt people and damage things comes added responsibility of ensuring that your own condition doesn’t affect your ability to do it safely— so be sure to take that responsibility upon yourself and take it seriously.


There are several references to forklift drivers in this article:

It seems to boil down to that the company isn’t allowed to ask about your diabetes to start with per EEOC v Murray Inc., and that they can’t make a blanket decision discriminating against all diabetics. Instead, this has to be decided on a case by case bases, judging upon safety records, etc…

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It could, but this is very individualized by company. You’d think that larger companies might be more or less rigid than smaller operators, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference. Individual states also have differing rules on whether T1’s can operate various motor vehicles or equipment. For example, WA state is super rigid and I used to have to get a full physical and sign-off every year to drive, but in AZ they hand you a license that’s good until you’re 65 (seriously) with no testing or sign-off needed. Ultimately, safety comes first and they have the right to discriminate on certain things like this. I would check with HR, and if they are smart they will consider the whole picture, including whether your A1C indicates good control and how hypoaware you are.

It is strictly a company decision. My thought is that unless there is a demonstrated reason to deny the practice it would difficult to do so, provided you are in the US that is.

I drove a forklift and a bobcat for several years. I also drove train cars into rail yards. From experience, I would recommend to check your bg often and ALWAYS carry glucose tabs on your person. You certainly don’t want to be carrying a load and suddenly be without fast acting dextrose. I know this from my own experiences.

Good luck! I truly believe that we can do ANYTHING we set our minds to.

Sarah :four_leaf_clover:


Thanks guys. By the sound of it, I shouldn’t have any problems then?

I guess my biggest issue now will be actually learning how to drive a forklift! haha. IDK how I made it past the test during my interview.

I think your biggest challenge will be monitoring your blood glucose. Do you use a CGM? With the added responsibility of operating a machine that can damage property or even injure others, I would be most comfortable with a well-tracking CGM on me.

I find that even with the CGM, when life gets busy or distracting, I can go for extended periods without looking at my CGM number. The easier it is to monitor, looking at a display rather than going through all the motions necessary to do a finger poke, the more likely you’ll be to head off any severely out-of-range BGs.

You definitely can do this but you need to add an extra layer of vigilance that the gluco-normals take for granted. Good luck.

Nope, I don’t have one (or even a pump.) I’ve never had a job that allowed me to afford any of those hightech treatment options.

I’ll just have to be extra vigilant with taking care of my bloodsugar for the next few months.

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yes a T1D can drive a forklift I done for about 5 years and then I changed careers as long as you check your glucose like you would like your driving a car you will be fine

Glad to hear things have changed. In early 1980’s, I started working in Texas. It was office work, but we were occasionally in areas where there were fork lift trucks. When I had first hired in, don’t recall if I was asked, but I did let them know that I had T1D since childhood. At that time, no BG testing, and I was taking 1 injection each morning of Lente insulin. Anyway, they put a restriction (and sticker on my badge) indicating that I was not allowed to drive the fork lift trucks ! I had no intention of driving one, but didn’t like how others asked why I had that sticker on my badge.

This thread is great hub if useful information. It’s nice to read expert’s views.


Forklift Certification nj

Forklift learning is all about safety - I used to be able to pick a dime off the floor with the blade!

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I knew a Type 1 who was a ship pilot guiding cruise ships into port in Alaska. That’s hard, dangerous work!